A delicious tropical rum cocktail recipe for when you need a splash of sunshine in your day, this Painkiller Cocktail recipe is a well-balanced citrus cocktail with a creamy consistency and a hint of warmth. If you’re a fan of pina coladas or coconut rum punch, you’re going to love this recipe!
Painkiller Rum Cocktail Recipe
The timing on my last cocktails and appetizers night was not ideal.
I planned it for the Thursday night before Spring break (and just before all of the school and work closures associated with *the pandemic*) so it quickly became a girls night with the hubbies mostly left at home and all of us fretting about how we were going to keep the kids happy for the next three weeks.
My guy made the smart decision to position himself as the provider of food and cocktails, keeping a group full of stressed-out women happily fed with barbecued, bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers, homemade queso, and these painkiller cocktails. (If you are the sole man in a group full of women, becoming the bearer of food and cocktails is definitely the right move.)
Unfortunately for him, they were a hit… and he spent the rest of the night playing bartender and whipping up these delicious, creamy cocktails for us.
And fortunately for you, he gave me the recipe. (Although, I hope he doesn’t think that means I’ll be making them next time…)
Origin of the Painkiller Cocktail
The painkiller cocktail was invented in the 1970s at a swim-up bar in the British Virgin Islands called “the Soggy Dollar.” (Because your dollars would be soggy from the swim.)
Despite the bartender’s efforts to keep her recipe a secret, the owner of Pusser’s Rum (the brand she used at the bar) eventually figured out her recipe and shared it with the world.
While the original version is mostly juice (about 6 parts juice to 1 part rum) you can make this cocktail your own by changing up the increments to suit your personal taste. I personally like it with at least 1.5 parts rum (ideally 2).
What kind of rum is best for a painkiller cocktail? Spiced rum or dark rum are ideal. While it may be tempting to use coconut rum to skip out on including coconut cream, it’s not going to give that warmth and the creaminess that the dark rum plus coconut cream provide. Pusser’s rum is traditional, but I like either Gosling’s dark rum or Kraken or Chic Choc for spiced rums.
What kind of coconut cream is best for a painkiller? We experimented heavily with different coconut creams in this recipe. Ideally, you want a coconut cream that is flavorful and not too thick – you should be able to hear the liquid sloshing around in the can when you shake it. However, flavor is always more important so if you have to go with a thicker coconut cream, you can whip it with a mixer or melt it in the microwave for 15 seconds to make it a bit easier to blend. The coconut creams that we found to have the best out-of-the-can consistency and flavor were Thai Kitchens Coconut Cream or Kosa Coconut Cream. Coco Real (the coconut cream that comes in a squirt bottle) has great flavor, but purists would say it’s a little thin for a traditional painkiller.
Can I skip the nutmeg? I’ve skipped the nutmeg before and can honestly say, that it’s 100% necessary for this recipe. If you don’t think you’ll like the texture of the ground nutmeg in your drink, you can opt for a drop or two of nutmeg extract.
How do I make a pitcher of painkillers? I’ve provided a printable recipe card below, but you can combine 750mL (a fifth) of rum, 46oz (5 3/4 cups) of pineapple juice, 12 oz (1 1/2 cups) of orange juice and 12oz (1 1/2 cups) of cream of coconut to make a GIANT PITCHER.
Check out our quick video to see how to make your own painkiller cocktails – and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe card:
Painkiller Cocktail Ingredients
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: you need lots of ice for this recipe. You need it for both the cocktail shaker and for serving.
Tip #2: I often order my liquor from Drizly because they have a quick delivery time (sometimes within 40 minutes) and no expensive mark-ups. Purchasing from them supports local retailers, too. You can order the Rum needed for this recipe from them.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Liquid measure (shot measure/jigger)
- Cocktail shaker
- Ice maker
I really loved using my gorgeous Omishome Bartending Kit to make this recipe. The pretty bamboo holder contains all of the tools you need to make perfect cocktails, and those pretty gold tools add a touch of class to your home bar set-up.
How to Make Painkiller Cocktails
Fill two glasses with ice.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream and rum.
Place the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for one minute. (You need to effectively blend that coconut cream.)
Strain the mixture into your prepared glasses.
Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve immediately.
Grab your free printable for our painkiller cocktail recipe:
- 8 oz pineapple juice
- 2 oz orange juice
- 2 oz cream of coconut
- 4 oz rum, spiced or dark
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 4 oz pineapple juice
- 1 oz orange juice
- 1 oz cream of coconut
- 2 oz rum, spiced or dark
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Fill two glasses with ice.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream and rum.
- Place the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for one minute. (You need to effectively blend that coconut cream.)
- Strain the mixture into your prepared glasses.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve immediately.
To make a pitcher of painkillers, combine 750mL (a fifth) of rum, 46oz (5 3/4 cups) of pineapple juice, 12 oz (1 1/2 cups) of orange juice and 12oz (1 1/2 cups) of cream of coconut.
If you don't want to use ground nutmeg for this recipe, you can use a drop or two of nutmeg extract. (I don't recommend skipping the nutmeg.)
Don't skip the coconut cream with coconut rum. The combination of spiced or dark rum and coconut cream are essential to making a great painkiller cocktail.
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Coco Real Cream Of Coconut, 2 Pack
Kraken Black Spiced Rum Liquor, 750 ml, 94 Proof
Hamilton Beach 86150 Countertop Ice Maker, Compact & Portable Design, Makes 28 Pounds Per Day, Stainless Steel
Omishome Complete Bartender Mixology Kit - Elegant Gold Finish Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker Set with Bamboo Stand and 6 BONUS Sturdy Stainless Steel Straws - A Superb Bartending Set
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 853Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 9gSugar: 55gProtein: 5g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
This painkiller rum punch is the perfect tropical addition to your summer parties, or just makes a great drink to wind down with at the end of the day.